“One More Thing, Sir…” by Michael Sloan book review

“One More Thing, Sir…” by Michael Sloan

How did I learn about Michael Sloan and his body of work? Let me start from the beginning. I had a crush on Melissa Sue Anderson when she was on Little House on the Prairie in the mid 1970’s. I joined her fan club and sent her some gifts (a bell) during that time. When I went to school at UC Santa Barbara to get a BA in Film Studies, I was working and going to school so I didn’t keep up on Melissa’s career during that time. I spent a lot of time going to all kinds of movies.

Fast forward to 2005 when my wife created her fan website about River Phoenix, http://www.myriverphoenixcollection.com/. In 2006, I thought to myself, who would make a good choice for a fan website. I still had my Melissa Sue Anderson fan club membership, letters, and signed photos in a box. I started collecting and recording everything that Melissa acted in. In 2007, I created https://www.melissasueandersonfan.com/. I was fortunate enough to meet Melissa in 2010 and 2014. It was a great experience. In 2011, I created a page with information about Michael Sloan and his body of work, https://www.melissasueandersonfan.com/Michael%20Sloan.html. I also added a page about his mother, Paula Stone and grandfather, Fred Stone.

The book starts with Michael’s process of getting his first American television script read and produced. He came up with a television story for the TV series, Columbo which was eventually called “Now You See Him” I watch Columbo in the morning at work and have become a fan of the show. This is the third time that I’ve seen Jack Cassidy play a murderer.

Jack Cassidy and Peter Falk in the Columbo episode, "Now You See Him" 
written by Michael Sloan
Jack Cassidy and Peter Falk in the Columbo episode, “Now You See Him”
written by Michael Sloan

Michael Sloan has a couple of funny stories about writing his first “McCloud” script, “Bonnie and McCloud”.

Leigh Taylor-Young and Dennis Weaver in the McCloud episode, 
Bonnie and McCloud
Leigh Taylor-Young and Dennis Weaver in the McCloud episode,
Bonnie and McCloud written by Michael Sloan
Michael Sloan mentions this scene in his book.

There are several chapters describing his experiences working on Kung Fu – The Legend Continues as screenwriter and show runner. One chapter relates the casting of Scott Wentworth as Kermit Griffin and Michael Sloan’s homage to the 1960 movie The Magnificent Seven.

Scott Wentworth as Kermit Griffin
Scott Wentworth as Kermit Griffin

Here are some of Michael’s favorite episodes with Kermit Griffin.

Kung Fu – The Legend Continues – “Quake”

Kung Fu – The Legend Continues – “Storm Warning”

Kung Fu – The Legend Continues – “Demons”

Kung Fu – The Legend Continues – “Banker’s Hours”

The Kung Fu – The Legend Continues episode that is an homage to The Magnificent Seven is called “Dragonswing”.

Michael Sloan describes his experiences writing his first script (The Madonna Legacy) for the TV series, Harry O (1973 – 1976). He also mentions his experiences working with David Janssen and Anthony Zerbe. I loved watching David Janssen in The Fugitive when I lived in Santa Barbara. Here are some screenshots from some of the episodes that Michael Sloan mentions in his book

Paul Tulley, David Janssen and Anthony Zerbe in Harry O episode, "The Madonna Legacy"
Paul Tulley, David Janssen and Anthony Zerbe in Harry O episode, “The Madonna Legacy”
David Janssen and Anthony Zerbe in Harry O episode “Hostage”
John Rubenstein as Richard Trask in the Harry O episode “Hostage”
Colleen Camp as Karen Bremmer in the Harry O episode “Hostage”
David Janssen and Felicia Farr as Harry’s ex-wife, Elizabeth Carson in the Harry O episode, “Reflections”
David Janssen and Felicia Farr as Harry’s ex-wife, Elizabeth Carson in the Harry O episode, “Reflections”

Michael Sloan describes the casting process for the TV show, The Equalizer and his relationship with Edward Woodward. Below is a screenshot and clip from This is Your Life – Edward Woodward.

Michael Sloan and Edward Woodward on This is Your Life

Several chapters are dedicated to the three Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman Reunion movies that Michael Sloan wrote and produced. He also tells about his friendship with Richard Anderson.

The Return of the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman (1987). Click on the photo for the complete movie on Archive.org.
The Bionic Showdown (1989). Click on the photo for the complete movie on Archive.org.
Bionic Ever After (1994). Click on the photo for the complete movie on Archive.org.
Michael Sloan has a lot of stories about his friendship with Richard Anderson.
When the TV station that I worked at was a MeTV affiliate, I used to watch Richard Anderson’s episodes on The Rifleman. He was very charismatic in those episodes.

There are several chapters on the production of The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.. One chapter includes a funny story about Michael and the director Ray Austin. Ray Austin is a recurring person throughout Michael Sloan’s book. Another chapter describes the cameo of George Lazenby as Bond in the movie.

David McCallum, Michael Sloan, and Robert Vaughn in the credits for The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.

George Lazenby in The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Ray Austin and Cary Grant Click on the photo for an interview from Where Hollywood Hides

Michael Sloan used to spend time at the French restaurant, La Serre in Studio City, California. He writes about his interactions with Andre the Giant and James Cagney at the restaurant.

La Serre dining room. Click on the photo for an article about the restaurant.

In several chapters, Michael Sloan talks about his work in theater. His Mother and Father were Broadway producers. In 1982, he wrote a play called “Underground” and describes how he was able to get Raymond Burr to star in it. Michael also directed the play “Wait Until Dark” in 1986 starring Cheryl McMannis who was really blind. He discusses the play and working with Cheryl McMannis.

Cheryl McMannis in The Return of the Six Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman. Click on the photo for a Los Angeles Times article on the Cheryl and the play “Wait Until Dark”.
Poster for Underground. Click on poster for a review of the play.

Raymond Burr interview about Underground

Click on the image for another Raymond Burr interview about the play.

Michael Sloan has a lot of stories of working with Glen Larson including a chapter about Glen Larson as a member of The Four Preps. Below is an interview with Glen about being in the band. His full interview is at https://interviews.televisionacademy.com/interviews/glen-a-larson?clip=27504#interview-clips

Glen Larson put Michael Sloan in charge of The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries as the showrunner. Michael also wrote some of the screenplays for the series. He describes his experiences working on the show. Below are some of the episodes mentioned in the book.

The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries – The House on Possessed Hill – with Melanie Griffith

The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries – Scorpion’s Sting

The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries – Arson and Old Lace

The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries – Assault on the Tower

The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries – The Mystery of the Hollywood Phantom, Part 1

The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries – The Mystery of the Hollywood Phantom, Part 2

Michael Sloan’s favorite episode is The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries – The Mystery of the Avalanche Express

Michael Sloan describes his experience as the President of the TV Film Jury at the 53rd Monte Carlo International Festival in 2013. Below is a photo of the Jury members. Click on the photo to go to an interview with Michael about the Festival by his sister Judy Sloane.

Monte Carlo Television Festival – The TV Movie jury: German actor, Sven Martinek, French actress, Caroline Proust, Script Writer/Producer Michael Sloan and Japanese TV director, Hiroshi Kurosaki

Michael wrote a chapter about the magician Nick Lewin who was kind enough to send me his interview that he did with Melissa Sue Anderson. It is on my website at the following link, https://www.melissasueandersonfan.com/nick%20lewin%20interview.html

Michael and Nick worked together on an Alfred Hitchcock episode called “Houdini on Channel 4”. Nick talks about the episode and includes the full episode on his website at https://remarkablemagic.com/2013/01/27/my-brush-with-alfred-hitchcock-and-harry-houdini/ They also worked together on the Kung Fu – The Legend Continues episode, Magic Trick. The full episode is below.

Michael also writes about his experiences working on B.J. and the Bear. There aren’t very many episodes of the show on the internet. Here are three episodes that I found.

BJ and the Bear – Snow White and 7 Truckers part 2

BJ and the Bear – Deadly Cargo

BJ and the Bear – Coffin With a View

Michael Sloan writes about his work as a producer and writer on the last 41 episodes of the new Alfred Hitchcock Presents TV series from 1987 – 1989. The first episode that he wrote for the series, VCR – Very Careful Rape (full episode on my website) starring Melissa Sue Anderson who he met for the first time. Michael wrote another episode starring Melissa called Murder in Mind which is also on my website. Below are screenshots from some of the New Alfred Hitchcock Presents episodes that are mentioned in the book.

Lindsay Wagner and Michael Sarrazin in the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode “Prism” written by Michael Sloan
Gary Blumsack in the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode, “You’ll Die Laughing” written by Michael Sloan
Van Johnson and Rory Calhoun in the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode, “Killer Takes All”. Written by Michael Sloan and Bobby De Laurentiis
Edward Woodward and Karen Trotter in the Alfred Hitchcock Presents two part episode, “Hunted”. Written by Michael Sloan. Great episode and great performances by both actors.
Patrick Macnee in the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode, “Survival of the Fittest”. Written by Michael Sloan.
Mike Connors in the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode, “Driving Under the Influence”.
Richard Anderson in the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode, “Ancient Voices”
Kathleen Quinlan in the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode, “Fogbound”
Jean Simmons in the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode, “Pen Pal”
Greg Evigan in the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode, “In the Driver’s Seat”
George Lazenby in the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode, “Diamonds Aren’t Forever”
Brian Bedford (Sherlock Holmes) and Patrick Monckton (Dr. Watson) in the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode, “My Dear Watson”
Michael Sloan’s favorite Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode, “Reunion”
Michael Sloan’s cameo in the last Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode, “South by Southeast”

Michael Sloan describes the process in getting The Equalizer movie with Denzel Washington produced. He also discusses his relationship with the casting director, Susan Forrest who worked on Kung Fu: The Legend Continues. He explains the origination of his nickname, “The Guvnor”. I always wondered where the nickname came from. Two of the final chapters deal with Michael’s parents time as Broadway producers and his time living in England. Below is a photo of Michael’s parents Paula Stone and Michael Sloane.

Mike Sloane and Phil Silvers backstage at Top Banana (1951)
Rose Marie, Paula Stone and Mike Sloane (Top Banana)

Overall, I highly recommend “One More Thing, Sir…”. I have a Film Studies degree so I love biographies and memoirs from film and television actors and directors. The book isn’t written in a linear fashion (from early days to present). It feels more like you are sitting with Michael and listening to stories by a fireplace with a glass of wine. There are some funny stories and fascinating stories about friends and celebrities that he has met in his long career. I’ve read his two Equalizer books and Lost In Christmas: A heartwarming family Christmas adventure and I enjoyed each of them.